New $42 million terminal coming to Inuvik airport

A file photo of Inuvik from the air. (Photo submitted by GNWT.)
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The Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport will have a new terminal by 2024, funded by the federal and territorial governments.

The new terminal will increase the airport’s capacity and will be built next to the current terminal, which will be torn down when construction is completed on the new building. Work on the new terminal is set to start later this year.

 The space will also include a public space, baggage systems, concessions, and air carrier operations. Nav Canada — who provide air traffic control services — have expressed interest in using levels 2 through 5, according to GNWT Infrastructure Minister Diane Archie.

The existing terminal was built more than 60 years ago, added Archie.

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The federal government is spending $31.5 million on the project, which comes from the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan, and the GNWT is providing the remaining $10.5 million in funding.

Archie added the building will better prepare the Inuvik Airport for dealing with the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.

Delia Chesworth, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Department of Infrastructure, said the new terminal would have monitoring equipment and that the GNWT had done studies on the wind to make sure snow would accumulate around the new building in a way that kept it accessible year round.

“Our primary focus has been on the foundation system, when it comes to climate change,” she said. “That is where we are seeing that the active layer of the permafrost is changing substantially over the years, and there has been a lot of concentration on coming up with a foundation system that will protect the overall structure of the building.”

Chesworth added the capacity for the new terminal would be slightly bigger than the existing terminal, because First Air and Canada North had merged, reducing the number of planes coming through the airport.

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